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Exclusive: Pink Danger leaks from Microsoft's Windows Phone

post #1 of 134
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Earlier this week, an anonymous tipster leaked the news that Microsoft's top secret Pink project, aimed to take on the iPhone just as the Zune targeted the iPod, was "near death and probably will be canceled." Another source has now spilled even more details about the internal crisis brewing within the company and how the failure of Pink relates to iPhone, Google's Android, and Windows Mobile.

The initial report, published by Greg Kumparak of MobileCrunch, was based on an anonymous source "with a seemingly exhaustive knowledge of Microsoft’s Project Pink." According to that tipster, the project is in disarray, with "no braintrust that understands how to build a product." Efforts to build a third party software platform for Pink are also in trouble because "team members don’t know how to get it done," the source claimed, with remaining employees complaining that they "hate the product" they're working on and feel like it was "never intended to ship," but that it only existed to "challenge [the Windows Mobile 7 team] and upset them into competing."

The report is bad news for Microsoft given that less than two years ago it paid a reported $500 million to acquire Danger, the developer behind the T-Mobile Sidekick. Microsoft's 2008 acquisition of the company was initially seen as an effort to breathe life into its struggling Windows Mobile division, which had been rapidly losing smartphone market share to RIM's BlackBerry in the enterprise and Apple's iPhone among consumers.

It was later revealed that Microsoft had converted Danger into "Pink," a top secret project operating independently from Windows Mobile, with the intent of directly challenging the iPhone. This mimicked Microsoft's earlier strategy of launching the Zune against Apple's iPod, which the company did while assuring its PlaysForSure hardware and music store partners that Zune wouldn't have any impact on their existing business. As it turned out, Zune had no impact on the iPod but completely destroyed the remains of Microsoft's PlaysForSure partnerships.

Our inside source now says the same thing is happening to Pink, even before Microsoft can finish it (jump to page 3 to read their letter). That's particularly problematic because Microsoft is already facing a schism between its Windows Mobile and Zune platform groups, their differing first party software development, and their business models for third party software and software stores.

Windows Mobile vs the Zune

Microsoft worked to keep Pink a secret, and its chief executive Steve Ballmer openly denied rumors that the company might be developing a Zune Phone earlier this year. The company has since made it clear that there truly is no Zune Phone in the works, as the company runs its Zune music player group entirely separate from its Windows Mobile business. Both systems are based on the same operating system (Windows CE), but the two platforms do not currently share the same mobile software store or the same development tools; each group within the company has even independently developed its own web browser.

There is only minimal overlap between the two platforms; Windows Mobile 6.5 has borrowed some of the Zune's menu designs, but the Zune is built around a touch-based interface while Windows Mobile retains a core dependence upon a stylus. According to reviewers, Windows Mobile is actually impossible to use without a stylus. And while Microsoft is now branding any smartphone running its software as a "Windows Phone," it has taken great pains to avoid associating the Windows brand to the Zune.

Microsoft's strategy is markedly different than Apple's, which presents the iPhone and iPod touch as being nearly identical both in hardware and software, with the only real difference being that the iPhone supplies a cellular radio, a compass, GPS, and a camera. Both share the same media formats, software titles, online stores, hardware accessories, the same development tools, and are built around the same multitouch interface with an identical look and feel. Apple even refers to the current operating system of both devices as being "iPhone 3.1 software."

Dangerous Liaisons: Pink vs Windows Mobile

Rather than melding Windows Mobile with the Zune to create a cohesive mobile platform like Apple, Microsoft moved in the opposite direction. The Danger group Microsoft acquired was run autonomously, creating a third fiefdom competing for attention and resources within the company.

Unlike Windows Mobile and its cousin the Zune, which are both based on the Windows CE operating system kernel and shared components above that, Danger's smartphone platform was based on a Java virtual machine running on top of a NetBSD kernel, although the Danger OS supplied its own proprietary APIs for developing mobile apps in addition to support for standard J2ME. That radical difference in operating system and application technology meant that Microsoft was unlikely to simply rebrand Danger's phones as its own; instead, the company announced that it only would be using some of Danger's ideas to build an entirely new "experience."

Danger was rolled into Microsoft's Premium Mobile Experiences group led by Roz Ho, who formerly ran Microsoft's Mac Business Unit. "We imagine a mobile experience that embraces sharing and celebrating relationships and personal moments,” Ho said in a press release. “Combining Danger and Microsoft talents together in the Premium Mobile Experiences team is how we’re going to deliver cool, new, fun mobile experiences to consumers. We want people to smile every time they look at their phone.”

Roz Ho's Pink Project

Ho, a 17 year veteran of Microsoft, works in a pink office (with the word "pink" actually painted on the wall). In a video published by Microsoft's Channel 9, Ho told her interviewers she was "having fun every day" and said her excitement about consumer products led to Microsoft assigning her the task of setting up a team of twelve to figure out how the company could best reach consumers in the smartphone arena. Ho said that her team was responsible for identifying and purchasing Danger, which brought 300 people into Microsoft from the company. Her team was later joined by an additional 200 employees working on the Pink project.

On camera, Ho declined to say anything specific about what her group was working to create. When asked why her office was pink, she laughed and said, "Actually I can't tell you!"



On page 2 of 3: Danger and iPhone, Android.

Danger and Apple's iPhone

Danger was originally founded in 2000 by three late 80s veterans of Apple: Andy Rubin, who left Apple to join its General Magic/Magic Cap spinoff (which later licensed its pen-based technology to Microsoft in 1998), then started up WebTV (which was acquired by Microsoft in 1997), before co-founding Danger; Joe Britt, who got started working for Apple at 19, then moved to Catapult Entertainment (a video game developer started by Apple employes) and then to WebTV and then Danger; and Matt Hershenson, who worked on the design of Apple's PowerBook 150 and prototypes of the company's iTV set top box (which never made it into production) before working for Catapult and then Phillips before co-founding Danger.

As a company, Danger worked closely with Flextronics and later Japan's Sharp Corporation to develop its Hiptop line of smartphones, which tightly integrated into the company's own operating system, much like the iPhone would later do. Its first model shipped in 2002, making it one of the first smartphones on the market and among the most popular sophisticated phones to be sold in the US, where it was exclusively marketed by T-Mobile as the SideKick (similar to how Apple partnered with AT&T to delver the iPhone). Since 2004, Danger has worked closely with Sharp to develop a series of GSM/UMTS Hiptop/Sidekick phones for sale in the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe.

Danger also pioneered direct software downloads through its innovative Download Catalog, a model later followed by Apple's iPhone App Store. Like Apple currently does, Danger tightly controlled what software could be installed on the device by encrypting apps in the store and preventing the casual installation of any unsigned apps. This was done to set a high bar for software quality and to tie software titles to compatible releases of the operating system by version.

Danger's innovative business model and its popularity among young users (who were drawn to its pioneering ability to support AOL instant Messaging) left some observers to predict that Apple would acquire the company in order to build its rumored iPhone. Instead, Apple developed its own hardware design deeply integrated with a mobile-optimized version of Mac OS X. And while Apple copied Danger's software distribution model, it developed its own unique multitouch interface rather than using a Hiptop-style thumb-based keyboard.



Danger and Android

In 2003, a few years after founding Danger, Andy Rubin left to start a new project called Android. He was joined by two other co-founders who had worked with him at WebTV, Andy McFadden and Chris White, along with an executive from T-Mobile, Richard Miner. Twenty-two months later, Google acquired the Android project in August 2005, signaling its interest to enter the smartphone business.

Just over a year later when Apple introduced the iPhone, rumors began to fly that Google's Android group would be bringing its own "GPhone" to market as an iPhone-killer. Instead, Google announced in November 2007 that Android would be an open platform that other hardware makers could license for free to build their smartphones.

This strategy pitted Android against Microsoft's Windows Mobile in a defensive play to prevent Microsoft from leveraging its smartphone hardware partnerships to block Google's entry into the mobile search and ads business. Insiders have referred to Android as "Danger 2.0," as the Android project builds upon Danger's general architecture of using a Unix-like kernel (Android uses Linux) with a Java-like application runtime (Android's Dalvik virtual machine).

As the iPhone began rapidly eating up the consumer market in its first six months, and as Google's Android loomed as a direct threat to the licensing model of Windows Mobile, Microsoft bought up the struggling Danger and set out to use the company to target the consumer market, something Windows Mobile had never successfully done. Microsoft's existing clients were primarily Windows IT shops, and even that market was under intense competitive pressure from RIM's BlackBerry.



On page 3 of 3: Microsoft's grave Danger from poisonous leaks.

Microsoft's grave Danger from poisonous leaks

With that background on Danger and Pink, the new leaks supplied by our non-anonymous Microsoft/Danger insider will make more sense. "I honestly have no idea who leaked the damaging details*to MobileCrunch about "Pink", but since the cat's out of the bag, allow me to add a little context to the story for your readers," the source wrote.

"First, all of the details are true. I wouldn't be surprised if the leaked photos of "Pure" and "Turtle" were an intentional leak by Microsoft (it seems like the sort of thing they would do), but the new details leaking the Pink project partners and the dirty laundry about dissent at Danger are clearly the work of an extremely disgruntled former or current employee.

"I have my share of disgruntlement about the situation, but it never occurred to me to do something like that. This is actually the worst possible timing for Microsoft for this information to come out (on the heels of the*awful reviews*of WM 6.5), and I suspect that it has already caused irreparable damage to their relationships with a number of key partners, to which I say, 'Bravo, leaker, well played.' Now allow me to twist the knife...

The Pink partners in Danger

"Let's start with the handset makers. Motorola has announced their intention to abandon WinMo for Android, and Palm has already abandoned WinMo in favor of their own WebOS. A few others, such as HTC, have been hedging their bets, announcing their support for Android, but not yet willing to publicly disown WinMo. Now the story has been leaked that Microsoft has been secretly working with Sharp on this (doomed) [Pink] project for over a year, cutting everyone else out of the picture completely.

"You figured out the*likely consequences*of this over a month ago so I won't belabor the point other than to say that Sharp, who has been a terrific partner to Danger throughout the Hiptop/Sidekick era, was no doubt hoping that Pink would allow them to expand their*phone offerings*in the Americas, a dream which has now been dashed due to typical Microsoft blundering. I doubt that either Sharp or any of the other handset OEM's will ever take Microsoft at their word again.

"Now, the mobile operators. Verizon is no doubt pissed to see their name leaked in relation to this sorry situation. Fortunately, they have been hedging their bets with their recent Android announcements, and I wouldn't be surprised if the rumors about them working with Apple on a CDMA iPhone were true as well. They've had great success with RIM phones and could also easily ship a WebOS phone, which already runs on CDMA. The one thing they would no doubt like to avoid at all costs is further dependence on WinMo, which apparently has a 25% return rate for dissatisfaction at their stores.

"If any Sidekick device had even a small fraction of this return rate, heads would have rolled! Clearly Verizon was hoping that Pink would be a different story. I've even heard of representatives saying things like 'we can't believe this is coming out of Microsoft' after a successful Pink demo, a quote that was reported to us by the Microsoft representative without any acknowledgment of the backhanded nature of that 'compliment.' No doubt whoever said that has now realized that it is in fact*Microsoft, and that demos can be quite deceiving.

The problem of four Pinks

"There were other operators involved in the project because (and this hasn't leaked yet), in their infinite wisdom, the Pink planners decided to try to build both*UMTS and CDMA phones in both form factors, for a grand total of four*different SKUs.

"None of the other smartphone platform builders were foolish enough to try to build more than one phone at a time, and whoever made this decision didn't take into account the added complexity involved in coding to support two different radio modules (from two different vendors, no less!) for two completely different radio technologies, not to mention validating and testing the RF performance of*four*different antennas (since each form factor and radio technology requires its own antenna design).

"You could have picked anyone at random from Danger and asked them if this would be a good idea and gotten the correct answer (hell no!), but by the time we were brought in, these decisions had already been made. At some point the UMTS project was placed on the back burner, and for all I know it may have already been cancelled, but the damage to the project has been done.

Pitting Verizon against T-Mobile

"The final operator who is going to be pissed is T-Mobile, who has been just as loyal of a partner to Danger as Sharp has been. I don't know exactly what Microsoft has been telling them, but they have no doubt realized that they've been cut out of this deal in favor of their largest competitor. What's worse is that apparently Microsoft has been lying to them this whole time about the amount of resources that they've been putting behind Sidekick development and support (in reality, it was cut down to a handful of people in Palo Alto managing some contractors in Romania, Ukraine, etc.).

"The reason for the deceit wasn't purely to cover up the development of Pink but also because Microsoft could get more money from T-Mobile for their support contract if T-Mobile thought that there were still hundreds of engineers working on the Sidekick platform. As we saw from their recent embarrassment with Sidekick data outages, that has clearly not been the case for some time.

"So now that the whole thing has blown up in their faces, I'm not sure what will happen next. Fortunately it doesn't affect me since I've already left, but I feel sad that so many Danger folks who I respect deeply are still working there, and none of them were responsible for making these catastrophic decisions. The most likely possibility is that anything worth salvaging from Pink will get folded into the larger WiMo 7 project, where it should have been located in the first place.

"Instead, Pink was a skunkworks project kept completely*secret from both the WinMo and Zune teams, which led to much frustration and duplication of effort. Of course WinMo is so screwed that this will likely lead to still more Danger folks quitting in disgust. Another possibility would be another massive layoff and shutting down the Danger offices, but with the economic crunch, I doubt that Microsoft would choose to take the hit of handing out severance packages to all the affected engineers, and breaking the lease on the buildings.

"The smartest*course of action (and therefore the one that Microsoft is least likely to take!) would be for them to recognize the value of the original Danger platform that they acquired, and to rebuild the Hiptop/Sidekick into a force to compete with Android (which is, after all, "Sidekick 2.0" in many respects). This won't happen for three reasons: 1) Microsoft's irrational hatred of Java, 2) Microsoft's irrational love of Windows in all of its horrible flavors, and 3) all the Danger folks who loved the Sidekick platform have left or likely will leave soon, and Microsoft has no in-house expertise in Java or the Danger platform.

Heave Ho

"Finally, assigning blame. The original leaker didn't discuss the personalities involved, but clearly the executive most responsible is Roz Ho, head of PMX [Premium Mobile Experiences]. I don't dislike her personally (I never met her personally, and she has no idea who I am anyway), but she was clearly incompetent to head this project, and was not humble enough to actually listen to what all the Danger folks were screaming about and to change course before things had gotten to this point.

"She was also responsible for the "Pink" codename, which has a lamer backstory than anyone has guessed: she was listening to a song by*Pink*(the singer) when she decided she was just the person to go one-up the Sidekick. To her credit, I wouldn't say that she is any*more*incompetent than the fools above her in the org chart: Andy Lees, Robbie Bach, and of course Steve Ballmer.

"I always figured that she was guaranteed to 'fail upward' with this project, assuming that anything at all shipped as Pink v1 (no matter how crappy), but with this recent MobileCrunch leak, and my 'twisting the knife,' perhaps there will be some accountability after all and she will have to fall on her sword. The smart thing would be for the board to fire all of the people I listed, along with Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie for good measure (two 'visionaries' who seem to be anything but), and then put someone like Steve Sinofsky in charge as interim CEO until things get sorted out. Of course this won't happen either."

Dismal prospects for a Microsoft mobile

With even Gartner now predicting that Windows Mobile likely has less than a year of life left in it, the failure of Pink only complicates Microsoft's already disastrous mess of mobile operations. Stuck between its efforts to sell a software platform that competes with free open source alternatives including Symbian and Android on one hand, and selling integrated solutions that take aim at successful single vendors such as RIM and Apple on the other, Microsoft has effectively shut itself out of the mobile business.

That misstep will provide RIM, Apple, Google, Nokia, and even Palm with easy access to pillage the remains of Microsoft's mobile business long before the company can mount any effective defense. Outside of the mobile business itself, that means Microsoft will also have little leverage to push its desktop technologies into the mobile frontier, from Bing search to Silverlight and .NET development. This also has other implications related to mobile clients, ranging from messaging platforms to cloud computing.

On the bright side, this affords Microsoft the opportunity to focus on providing cross platform software solutions to the successful mobile platforms, allowing the software giant to sell its Exchange ActiveSync and mobile versions of its Office titles to users of all different platforms rather than feeling the need to keep these exclusive to its own platform. In fact, the company has already broadly licensed ActiveSync to other mobile makers and has recently announced new Office mobile software under development for Symbian users.



Daniel Eran Dilger is the author of "Snow Leopard Server (Developer Reference)," a new book from Wiley available now for pre-order at a special price from Amazon.
post #2 of 134
Microsoft often has internal turf wars between VPs. It was a mistake to make the acquisition of Danger into the Pink project if this rumor is to be believed.

The simple scenario is that the WinMo VP was guarding his turf from the Pink group. This type of situation has played out many times in the MSN group and other internal groups. It is a cut-throat corporate culture (I've been there). Whole teams have been let go as a result of these turf wars. The team members are either absorbed into other groups, leave on their own after being told to look elsewhere, or are laid-off.

WinMo 7 will win out but the real question is - Is it good enough for anyone to care? With Android, WebOS, and Blackberry OS I don't believe WinMo will gain significant mindshare.
post #3 of 134
Can someone summarise this for me? It sounds like a really interesting topic, but as with all of this guys articles, they are so badly written I can never be arsed to finish them!
post #4 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Can someone summarise this for me? It sounds like a really interesting topic, but as with all of this guys articles, they are so badly written I can never be arsed to finish them!

Looks like you should go back to high school to learn how to read then.
post #5 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Can someone summarise this for me? It sounds like a really interesting topic, but as with all of this guys articles, they are so badly written I can never be arsed to finish them!


M$ sucks.
post #6 of 134
An "anonymous tipster" you say?

Sounds more like wishful thinking on the part of some frightened Apple Fanster -

We'll See Soon Enough...
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #7 of 134
Unfortunately it looks like MS Windows is on it's way to becoming a similar mess. Sadly I see similar behaviour, though not as bad, at places I've worked. It's a culture of everyone undermining each other and never really developing.

Building universal products, that is items that appeal to a wide array of people, requires a team effort. That is everone working to a common goal. More importantly someone in management needs to be able to articulate that goal and maintain standards. This is what Steve does really well out of the spot light at Apple.

What surprises me is that Apple has been able to maintain the creative environment they have for so long. Even during the dark days products seemed to have a purpose.

Frankly I've been disgusted with MS since Windiws NT, when a silly but simple program install would crash your computer. Of course it is easy to escape MS at home, but not so at work. At this point it looks like Windows is a platform optimized to run viruses. It makes me wonder how many irresponsible business decisions where made to get Windows to this state. If this leak is even partly true, and acurately reflects management at MS, then I can't really expect MS to ever clean up Windows.


Dave



Dave
post #8 of 134
It's pretty amazing to consider that in the time span between minor Windows Mobile updates Apple, Google and Palm were able to build a better product from the ground up largely built on open source projects. I think Microsoft's extreme dislike of open source is really starting to put them at a competitive disadvantage in multiple markets.
post #9 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post

M$ sucks.

Cheers!
post #10 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

An "anonymous tipster" you say?

Sounds more like wishful thinking on the part of some frightened Apple Fanster -

We'll See Soon Enough...

Of course there is obvious bias, this is after all Daniel here.

But, since this all sounds like the Microsoft we come to know from the past, oh, 25 years, it isn't hard to believe they could f*** it up.

I didn't know the roots of this phone, thanks for the article.
post #11 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by SinisterJoe View Post

It's pretty amazing to consider that in the time span between minor Windows Mobile updates Apple, Google and Palm were able to build a better product from the ground up largely built on open source projects. I think Microsoft's extreme dislike of open source is really starting to put them at a competitive disadvantage in multiple markets.

I think you're partially correct, but I also think you don't give enough credit to the proprietary components of OS X. I see OS X as one of Apple's major crown jewels, an advantage that none of its competitors will match for at least five years.
post #12 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post

M$ sucks.

And For Some... APPLE Bites!

How else can one account for the chunk missing in their logo ?
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
Reply
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #13 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

An "anonymous tipster" you say?

Sounds more like wishful thinking on the part of some frightened Apple Fanster -

I dunno. Too much "You can't make this stuff up!" factor in the article. And not enough foam-mouthing, as we'd expect from a frightened fanster.
post #14 of 134
thanks for the article.. as always, very interesting. keep them coming
post #15 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Can someone summarise this for me? It sounds like a really interesting topic, but as with all of this guys articles, they are so badly written I can never be arsed to finish them!

How rude and ignorant of you.
The author has clearly spent a great deal of time writing the story.
There is a significant amount of research and facts included in what is in fact a well written story.
The issue here appears to be that you are in fact just lazy or a poor reader.
It is yet another example of the 'give it to me quick' culture.
Can't be bothered to put any effort in to read the story, so expects someone else to do it for them.
It is the same as all these american TV shows we get at the moment.
Stuff is repeated so many times to make sure people don't miss the point, because they are too lazy to concentrate. These shows could be 1/2 as long if they did not recap after every ad break.
post #16 of 134
I think they should focus on what they're good at: the office. If they want to make a mobile device, forget consumers completely and make an office centric device with full MS Office integration. To be successful these mobile devices need to be part of an ecosystem and MS already has an ecosystem in that space.
post #17 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post

I think you're partially correct, but I also think you don't give enough credit to the proprietary components of OS X. I see OS X as one of Apple's major crown jewels, an advantage that none of its competitors will match for at least five years.

I think you missed the point. He's not just talking about Iphone OS. I agree that the rise of numerous and very useable mobile OS's in such a short time is a testament to the effectiveness of "open source" projects to bring innovation to the industry.

Microsoft definitely has an unhealthy relationship with windows and proprietary everything. For another example, Take a look at Internet Explorer. It's the bane of every web developers existence and it'll probably never change because Microsoft is constantly locking itself into proprietary and outdated standards, preventing them from being innovative.

It must be really difficult to work for a company entrenched with so many limitations and still be an innovative employee; the two conditions are so contradictory.

It'll be interesting to see how Microsoft reinvents and restructures themselves over the next few years. They have a bunch to do if circumstances are as described in this article.

I agree with the "tipster", Microsoft will most likely continue stumbling along making mediocre products and riding on the coat tails of the Windows proliferation and never change a thing.
turtles all the way up and turtles all the way down... infinite context means infinite possibility
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turtles all the way up and turtles all the way down... infinite context means infinite possibility
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post #18 of 134
Microsofts problem is that they split development into a large number of groups who compete with one another.

Apple had this problem as well while working on Copeland. It was one of the reasons Copeland failed. Now Apple is lead from the top in a very directed way. MS doesn't have that kind of direction.

I can say from my own companies that without leadership and direction from the top, people are like a chicken without a head. At MS, it seems as though no one wants to take responsibility at the higher levels for the overall product design. When that's left to lower level management and engineering, things don't work out too well.

This isn't just my take, but one that has been written about many times over the years.

I'll tell you this, having been a partner in an electronics engineering company, you can't let the engineers make the product design and interface. If you do, you'll be overwhelmed with switches and knobs.

The same thing is true for software. Programmers are the worst people to take a product to completion. They need a strong hand on the rudder. Someone to say "no!". If that doesn't happen, you get a product like MS's.

Engineers like to add features. one of their favorite phrases is " Why don't we add...".

You have to tell them "NO!". And mean it.

I don't think that there's anyone at MS who can do that.
post #19 of 134
Can't Microsoft just slap phone hardware and software into the Zune HD and call it a day? Even if it lacked some of the features that the iPhone has it'd still sell. Throw in an app store and grow it, and you're on your way. I don't get the point of all this mess I just read about. If there's 3 companies inside microsoft designing the same product, well, Zune HD won. Merge them all to make a cohesive product. Kill the current WinMo, or make it cheaper (I think they've talked about that). I do not believe Microsoft is as helpless as this report makes them seem.
post #20 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by parky View Post

How rude and ignorant of you.
The author has clearly spent a great deal of time writing the story.
There is a significant amount of research and facts included in what is in fact a well written story.
The issue here appears to be that you are in fact just lazy or a poor reader.
It is yet another example of the 'give it to me quick' culture.
Can't be bothered to put any effort in to read the story, so expects someone else to do it for them.
It is the same as all these american TV shows we get at the moment.
Stuff is repeated so many times to make sure people don't miss the point, because they are too lazy to concentrate. These shows could be 1/2 as long if they did not recap after every ad break.

If I can read this whole article on my iPhone as I just have, I think no one else should have that hard a time. It is not poorly written and it's interesting, IMHO.

Chet
post #21 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

And For Some... APPLE Bites!

How else can one account for the chunk missing in their logo ?

1. The Apple is the fruit of the "Tree of Knowledge". The bite represents the quest for knowledge. Of course this was what got Adam And Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden.

2. The bite is a reference to the computer term "byte".

3. The real reason why the "bite" is there is because the artist that designed it wanted to show size. Otherwise it could easily be mistaken for something the size of a cherry. He had two version drawn up. One with the "bite" and another without it. Steve Jobs chose the one with the bite in it.
post #22 of 134
I find it difficult to understand how such a huge corporation can be so badly run. Before they started spending hundreds of millions of dollars on this project there was a fundamental question they had to address. They are a software producer, providing the mobile OS that is licensed by a number of phone manufacturers to make their phones work. So far so good.

Along comes Apple, a hardware company that produces software to make their devices work, who introduce an innovative new phone that takes the market by storm and is a great success. 'Right' say Microsoft, 'we're going to make a phone too'. But hang on, they're a software company! Granted they have bought themselves (at great expense) a foothold in the gaming console market, and produce some decent peripheral devices, but with the phone idea they are proposing to go into direct competition... with their own customers!

What phone manufacturer would want to be held hostage by being dependent on a rival company's software to run their phone? How vigourously would MS develop their mobile OS knowing that it was enhancing a direct competitor's product? Would they look to produce two versions, a good one for their own phone and a less good one for their rivals? It just does not make sense.

If they want to make phones they have to stop providing the OS for other phones. They would have to withdraw from a declining but nonetheless profitable sector to take a punt on this new product, or if not, the market will withdraw from them and Android is sitting there as a ready-to-go alternative.

This is all such a damning indictment of senior management at MS, and an object lesson on why monopolies (or at least de-facto monopolies) are such a bad thing.
Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
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Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
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post #23 of 134
This is what differentiates AI from the other Apple sites - in depth, well researched articles. I find it interesting to learn the history of stuff - I've been in the IT industry for over 20 years now and it's always great to hear how technology evolves (or not in the case of Microsoft).
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Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equpped with 18,000 vaccuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons.
by Popular Mechanics
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post #24 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidW View Post

1. The Apple is the fruit of the "Tree of Knowledge". The bite represents the quest for knowledge. Of course this was what got Adam And Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden.

I believe the apple is also an Isaac Newton reference, concerning the story of him sitting in an apple grove when he had the inspiration for his theory of gravitation.
"Who are you going to believe, me or your eyes?"
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"Who are you going to believe, me or your eyes?"
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post #25 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Can someone summarise this for me? It sounds like a really interesting topic, but as with all of this guys articles, they are so badly written I can never be arsed to finish them!

This is less of an article and more of an interview. so any mistakes in writing are forgiven. Its a great story that paints the full picture of project pink (MS phone to compete with iphone) many many names are given, the story tells us of project 'pink's beginnings and why it ultimately failed.

i can't believe MS decided to make their pink phone compatible with ALL networks (4total designs). i can't believe that as a result of this failure sharp, tmobile, danger, and verizon all end up losing something.

indeed, this story is a great example of what keeps me coming back to AI. keep 'em coming!
post #26 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidW View Post

1. The Apple is the fruit of the "Tree of Knowledge". The bite represents the quest for knowledge. Of course this was what got Adam And Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden.

2. The bite is a reference to the computer term "byte".

3. The real reason why the "bite" is there is because the artist that designed it wanted to show size. Otherwise it could easily be mistaken for something the size of a cherry. He had two version drawn up. One with the "bite" and another without it. Steve Jobs chose the one with the bite in it.

I prefer the possibly apocryphal version that it is a tribute to Dr Alan Turing. He could be said to be the father of the modern computer, certainly the first 'software' designer. It was his mathematical genius that produced Colossus, the mechanical/electronic hybrid computer based at Bletchley Park during in World War 2. It broke the German Enigma code, and was one of the single most significant factors in the Allied victory.

He was also homosexual, and in post-war Britain suffered for it. He was never given the recognition of his huge achievements, was arrested on an 'indecency' charge and committed suicide. To do this he painted cyanide on an apple, took a bite and died.

Whether this is the real version we do not know, as with many things at Cupertino it is surrounded in mystery, because that's the way Apple likes it.
Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
Reply
Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
Reply
post #27 of 134
I am only waiting for Teckstud's comments!
post #28 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by allblue View Post

I prefer the possibly apocryphal version that it is a tribute to Dr Alan Turing.

That's a sad story about Turing but the original Apple company logo featured Newton getting hit with an apple, and Steve Jobs has also said they chose that name because of the Beatles...
post #29 of 134
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Originally Posted by allblue View Post

I find it difficult to understand how such a huge corporation can be so badly run.

Well, they certainly have a precedent.
post #30 of 134
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Originally Posted by SinisterJoe View Post

It's pretty amazing to consider that in the time span between minor Windows Mobile updates Apple, Google and Palm were able to build a better product from the ground up largely built on open source projects. I think Microsoft's extreme dislike of open source is really starting to put them at a competitive disadvantage in multiple markets.

Live by Windows, die by Windows. It's understandable, of course, since without DOS/Windows they would never have been anything, but, especially on the desktop, they are somewhat constrained by their own success. They can't really update Windows to a modern OS without breaking compatibility with much of the software that runs on it, and the longer they wait to do it, the more bogged down the OS and their development projects get. They will have to do it eventually or watch themselves become irrelevant, although, with Google stealing their lunch money most days recently, it may already be too late for them.

Of course, this wasn't even a Windows project, but shows how their entire culture has become completely dysfunctional. Ballmer deserves a lot of the blame, although, I don't think the fault is entirely his since the culture at Microsoft is as much or more Gates' making as Ballmer's.
post #31 of 134
If there was ever a time to use blockquote, the third page of this article was it.
post #32 of 134
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Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I think they should focus on what they're good at: the office.

I'm not even sure that is true. They have an unbreakable lock-in with Office, but that doesn't mean that productivity apps couldn't be much further along in terms of usability if there were more true competition. In a parallel universe where MS Office wasn't the accepted 'standard', there might be much better apps available (like Lotus Improv from the early 90's and countless word-processors that were easier to use than Word), but we'll never know.

Given Microsoft's long and consistent history of mediocre product development on pretty much everything they have touched, why would anyone think that their version of office apps are necessarily the best that could have been?
post #33 of 134
More signs of Ballmer incompetence. That's what happens when the primary qualification for CEO is "Is he the company founder's college buddy?" I have AAPL stock so I'm luvin' it.
post #34 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Can someone summarise this for me? It sounds like a really interesting topic, but as with all of this guys articles, they are so badly written I can never be arsed to finish them!

its time for microsoft to reaorganize the company again
post #35 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Live by Windows, die by Windows. It's understandable, of course, since without DOS/Windows they would never have been anything, but, especially on the desktop, they are somewhat constrained by their own success. They can't really update Windows to a modern OS without breaking compatibility with much of the software that runs on it, and the longer they wait to do it, the more bogged down the OS and their development projects get. They will have to do it eventually or watch themselves become irrelevant, although, with Google stealing their lunch money most days recently, it may already be too late for them.

Of course, this wasn't even a Windows project, but shows how their entire culture has become completely dysfunctional. Ballmer deserves a lot of the blame, although, I don't think the fault is entirely his since the culture at Microsoft is as much or more Gates' making as Ballmer's.

starting with Vista SP2, desktop windows is the same as Windows Server
post #36 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Given Microsoft's long and consistent history of mediocre product development on pretty much everything they have touched, why would anyone think that their version of office apps are necessarily the best that could have been?

I think that's begging the question a little. Are all their products mediocre? Their phones, mp3 players and operating systems are, but (IMHO) their game consoles, office apps, development tools (Visual Studio) and keyboards/mice are quite decent. In comparison to other existing products that is -- I don't think it's fair to any company (even Apple) to compare against alternate histories.
post #37 of 134
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Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

And For Some... APPLE Bites!

How else can one account for the chunk missing in their logo ?

Opposite. The logo would symbolize the bite that other companies took when they went down on Apple. As in "Bite Me". That's why there's a bite mark in the Apple. Apple can't take a bite out of Apple unless they're insulting themselves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I think that's begging the question a little. Are all their products mediocre? Their phones, mp3 players and operating systems are, but (IMHO) their game consoles, office apps, development tools (Visual Studio) and keyboards/mice are quite decent. In comparison to other existing products that is -- I don't think it's fair to any company (even Apple) to compare against alternate histories.

If the "legal" iPhone had as many potential features/options as a jailbroken iPhone there would be no competition. If there is something that the competitions' phones can do that the iPhone can't, a jailbroken iPhone has an app for that.


.
post #38 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by elliots11 View Post

Can't Microsoft just slap phone hardware and software into the Zune HD and call it a day? Even if it lacked some of the features that the iPhone has it'd still sell. Throw in an app store and grow it, and you're on your way. I don't get the point of all this mess I just read about. If there's 3 companies inside microsoft designing the same product, well, Zune HD won. Merge them all to make a cohesive product. Kill the current WinMo, or make it cheaper (I think they've talked about that). I do not believe Microsoft is as helpless as this report makes them seem.

probably not

you have to rewrite a lot of the software and engineer the product to be a cell phone. little things like where you put the antenna make a big difference

10 years ago MS was run like a tight ship. in the last 10 years they shipped so many new products that all the code from 10 years ago probably has too many forks and incompatibilities with each other. Apple on the other hand sells the same basic code and hardware in all their products with minor differences
post #39 of 134
If I was Gates, looking to my future contribution to the world through my Foundation's good works, I'd be seriously contemplating taking my money and running. Well, at least, some of it..... (since trying to take all of it will make the stock worthless before he could).
post #40 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

(IMHO) their game consoles . . . are quite decent..

With a failure rate of 54% and billions of dollars flushed down the toilet to offer extended warranties to placate those (justifiably) upset customers, I wouldn't consider the Xbox line as "quite decent". And they've been in the game console business for years now, a competently run company would have already figured out how to avoid high catastrophic failure rates.

If I were a MSFT stockholder, and thankfully I'm not, I would be going to the annual meeting to ask "Why is Mr. Ballmer still running this company?"

Microsoft. . . a GM for the 21st century.
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